There’s a new movement in healthcare – and it’s growing from a surprising place. Instead of emerging from government or industry, it’s budding from the grassroots –from everyday physicians. The movement is democratizing health information and giving birth to a new landscape: Interactive Health.
Interactive Health is transitioning clinical care from real-world, costly encounters to virtual, inexpensive, cloud-based care. And the view from the cloud is better. This transformation is starting with the most fundamental interaction in healthcare: patient question, physician answer.
In late April of 2011, HealthTap decided to help facilitate this movement by bringing together physicians to engage online and create a roadmap for “care in the cloud.” Nine months later, the growth of physician engagement on HealthTap and beyond proves that Interactive Health is here to stay.
Today, HealthTap announced that 10,000 physicians have joined our Medical Expert Network, where they are sharing and evaluating the best health information online, dramatically improving care within a transparent meritocracy.
The Three Pillars of the new movement: Quality, Access, and Care
Interactive Health is supported by three pillars: quality, access, and care.
We live in a world of abundant heath information – but this information can create confusion, frustration and mistrust. The Interactive Health movement is changing this by ensuring quality through trust, pluralism, merit and peer review. HealthTap is facilitating this movement in three ways.
HealthTap creates trust by allowing only U.S.-licensed physicians in excellent standing to join its Medical Expert network. Admission is even stricter than state licensing requirements.
HealthTap also supports pluralism by enabling doctors to add better answers to all patient questions, even if already answered by other doctors. These, in turn, are being commented on by additional doctors adding multiple opinions and approaches to the available body of knowledge.
HealthTap supports meritocracy and peer review by ensuring that answers are not based on the assessment of a single individual or organization, but are based on the combined evaluation provided by the medical community, and by allowing participating physicians to review, rank, and evaluate answers.
HealthTap makes the highest quality health information readily available to everyone for free. Physicians can also compare and contrast their own approach to that of other doctors.
HealthTap is built around transparency: when patients view answers, they can see who created them. They can see the physician’s real name, learn where the doctor was educated and practices, and eventually follow up with an appointment.
In real Interactive Health, physician participation is voluntary, not dictated. The participating’s physicians’ goals are to improve care and to make the best health information available to all.
HealthTap helps facilitate better care through creating a culture of gratitude and kindness between doctors and patients. In addition to recognition from fellow physicians, HealthTap lets users “Thank” doctors when they appreciate answers. Hundreds of physicians have written to us that the “Thanks” they receive from patients on HealthTap remind them of why they decided to practice medicine in the first place.
The second element of true care is availability. Interactive Health makes doctor wisdom readily available 24/7 – without additional effort by physicians or cost to patients.
How HealthTap is leading the Interactive Health movement
The democratization of health information involves more than just bringing the best information to people everywhere – it also means giving an opportunity for top licensed physicians in good standing to have a real voice.
The Medical Experts participating on HealthTap include leading doctors from top institutions, as well as physicians practicing in rural areas, giving them all the same opportunity to have their voices heard, and to share their knowledge on equal footing.
Physicians on HealthTap are known both locally and nationally. The fast-growing network includes respected medical practitioners in communities of all sizes. Doctors on HealthTap were trained in and practice at top institutions like Harvard (the #1 represented medical school for physicians in our network), Johns Hopkins, and UCSF, and have been published in medical journals, such as JAMA and the New England Journal of Medicine. The network also includes experts who have served as department chairs or division chiefs at premier medical centers, including Cedars-Sinai, Memorial Sloan-Kettering, and Baylor University.
HealthTap’s Medical Expert community includes physicians like Dr. Barry Rosen, a surgeon listed as one of America’s Top Doctors in U.S. News and World Report; Dr. George Kalber, a Professor of Urology and Pediatrics at the Tufts University School of Medicine; and Dr. Cornelia Franz, a Pediatrician and author of Common Sense Pediatrics.
The HealthTap Medical Expert Network also includes physicians like Dr. R. Wayne Inzer, an OB/GYN who serves as the program Director for the Obstetrics and Gynecology Resident training program at Baylor University Medical Center; Dr. Latisha Smith, an assistant professor in the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston’s comprehensive wound care and hyperbaric medicine center; and Dr. Bert Mandelbaum, the Chairman of the department of pediatrics at the University Medical Center of Princeton.
Together, these six doctors have answered more than 2,200 questions, which have received over 3,400 Agrees from the physician community, and which have helped almost 200,000 people to date (a number that will continue to grow in the future with no additional effort by these doctors as more users find them through their mobile devices and online). This is what moving the best information to the cloud is all about.
By enabling doctors to compete with one another on the quality of their answers, and to assess the answers of other doctors, HealthTap has become both the voice of the most well recognized physicians and the voice of those who are most deserving of recognition. A true meritocracy, HealthTap is the podium for both the super-known, and for those who deserve to be—but are not yet as well known as they will be very soon.